Adam Curtis is a cultural commentator who makes documentary films, which attempt to address how power consolidates, morphs and guides society & culture.

He has made documentaries for the BBC for more than two decades, all of which are fascinating, but one stands out for me as the most transformational.

The Century of Self takes a look at how Western governments sought to utilise the theories of Sigmund Freud and his family to navigate citizens away from a collective, community orientated sense of mass-organisation, towards a focus on the sovereignty and importance of the individual in an era of mass democracy.

At four hours, it isn’t a quick watch, but it is an incredibly rewarding one. It allows you to analyse the nature of the consumer culture we live in and how we have navigated from a needs-based to a desire-led lifestyle.

The Century of the self – 1of4 Happiness Machines from The Door of Perception on Vimeo.

The Century of the self – 2of4 The Engineering of Consent from The Door of Perception on Vimeo.

The Century of the self – 3of4 There is Policeman Inside all our Heads He Must Be Destroyed from The Door of Perception on Vimeo.

The Century of the self – 4of4 Eight People Sipping Wine from The Door of Perception on Vimeo.